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Watching Latern in Chinese Lantern Festival

 

Latern Festival

Tourists view lanterns at a park in Yangcheng County, north China's Shanxi Province, Feb. 18, 2013. A lantern shows started in Yangcheng County at Monday night. Chinese traditional Lantern Festival this year falls on Feb. 24, 2013.

This day's important activity is watching lanterns. Throughout the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), Buddhism flourished in China. One emperor heard that Buddhist monks would watch sarira, or remains from the cremation of Buddha's body, and light lanterns to worship Buddha on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, so he ordered to light lanterns in the imperial palace and temples to show respect to Buddha on this day. Later, the Buddhist rite developed into a grand festival among common people and its influence expanded from the Central Plains to the whole of China.
Till today, the lantern festival is still held each year around the country. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in the streets, attracting countless visitors. Children will hold self-made or bought lanterns to stroll with on the streets, extremely excited.

For more information about Chinese traditional festival, you could find them in www.chinaholidays.com and http://www.chinaholidays.com/guide/travel-tips/chinese-calendar-public-holidays.html